Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's Only Words

This is what I look like in the mornings before I go to work. Frightening, isn't it?

It's too hot to even think about doing anything outside so I've been holed up in AC behind closed doors both at home and at work for several days now. The only thing I'm wearing is COOL. If it needs ironing, forget about it. Shoes that have to be worn with hose, forget about 'em. Long, leisurely walks for the dog -- unh-unh, ain't happening. Not that she seems to mind. She's a pretty bright little dog, and she doesn't want to venture out and power-walk on these premature dog days, either. Neither of us has prickly heat, hives, or boils. Yet. It could be worse.
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If I were in the mood, I suppose all this indoor time might be put to good use starting a new book. I'm not in the mood, though. If I were, and if you also were so inclined, one might ask, "How do you begin a book?" Maybe we'll talk about that a little while we're waiting for it to cool down.

(1) The first thing you need to do is figure out what you want to write and then contemplate (and jotting it down on paper helps tremendously) the characters and plot devices you'll need to drive the story. Go ahead and create your characters, and it never hurts to flesh them out a bit from the very beginning. Flat, wooden, one-dimensional characters can't tell a story, so make sure you plump them up pleasantly as their personalities emerge. By the time you have a fully assembled character, you should know everything about him or her, up to and including whether he/she is scared of the dark and what color underwear he/she wears on Tuesdays. The more intimately you know your characters, the harder they'll work for you in advancing your story line.

(2) Give your characters emotions, because those emotions will guide every action of each character. Tepid, blasé characters can't move a story forward with any kind of believability.

(3) Create a plot for your characters and then let the story write itself for a while and see where it wants to go. With a cast of good, strong characters, they will guide your story in the direction in which it needs to go. Give them free rein and trust their instincts. If the first few drafts miss the mark, relax. The first commandment of writing is, after all, Rewrite, Revise, and Rewrite.

(4) Love your characters, and I mean really love them. Fall in love with them. If you don't love them, they'll never do what you need them to do vis-à-vis moving your story from Point A to Point B to its denouement. Love them, and they'll work wonders for you.

(5) Watch your spelling and grammar. It counts!

At the complete opposite end of the writing spectrum, TWISTED LINGUISTICS has today's lineup of Words Gone Wild blasfomys.

Maddona - Angry Spanish woman.

wasteline - Trash train.

cutsomer service - Knife for hire.

stupe that low - Dirty, lowdown idiot.

reelly - Crazy about movies.

mental migit
i been marry for 36 years
how deer you?
matter of opion
living legand


Bilbo said...

Serena, you have dashed my fantasies about you by including that picture...I'll never think about curlers the same way again. Is this what happens when you're in heat...so to speak?

alawys - relatives of the former Iraqi PM?

sharade - assistance with sharing?

mental migit - what else is there to say?

i been marry for 36 years - probably about the same amount of time you spent in first grade...

how deer you? - sounds to me like the first line of a "deer John" letter...

matter of opion - what you think about charged particles?

critizing - being critical, but with a little zing.

entertaing - go into the taing?

living legand - Betty Grable? Oh, wait...she's dead. Never mind.

VE said...

Oh, no bilbo gave it away...those are curlers...and here I thought you were using those toilet paper roll thingys for some green recycling science experiment or something. And you've obviously come to the conclusion that I spend 3.7 seconds on my hair each day...

Kanrei said...

Whew....just stopping by to say hi. Nice picture...you do the curlers well...such happy colors. Work is still being work this week (the nerve), so I am busy, busy, busy, tired, and busy. I hope to catch up soon. I know I suck

Kanrei said...

PS-your tips are very helpful. My problem comes in that my characters are as lazy as I am and are happy doing nothing like me. Boring to write about.

leelee said...

you are too cute..and oh so brave..

You go Girl...stay cool...I know you will..


Anonymous said...


you look
strangely regal

words -- no -- there's just no following bilbo's awesome defs this fine hump day eve...

¤ ¤ ¤


puerileuwaite said...

I go into prickly heat all too often myself. But it's more of a dry heat.

Corn Dog said...

Odd things growing out of your head, Ma'am. I thought your hair was naturally perfect.

It is freakin' got here. 90 outside. 80 in the house. 2:30pm. We are in for a sick ride today. Yowser. We do not have the thing you call air conditioning and now I wish we did.

Serena Joy said...

Sadly, Bilbo, the answer to your question is yes. Aren't you sorry you asked?:-) I got a real kick out of your definitions today. The "deer John" letter made me giggle.:)

No, VE, no TP on my head. I wish I could get away with 3.7 seconds on hair care in the mornings.:)

Oh, thank you for the happy colors remark, Kan. That somehow makes the whole thing seem a little better. You don't suck; I know what you've been through lately. Hope it's getting better. Re your characters, when you're in the mood and feel like it again, they'll behave.:)

LOL, Leelee. Sometimes there's a fine line between brave and stupid.:) It was HARD staying cool today, but I'm still alive and kicking.:-)

Regal in my crown of curlers, /t.? Certainly strange, though. LOL. Happy Hump Day!:)

I've had prickly heat, Puggy. It ain't pretty. It's not always dry, either.:-)

Even with the wires sticking out of my head, the damn humidity made my hair go flat today, Corn Doggie. I need to put the collander (or sifter) back on my head. Honey, how on earth can you live in CA with no AC?! You need to go back to Target. They have a hell of a deal on window ACs. I just bought another one Saturday; real life saver.:)

NYD said...

sharade: A bottle of Gatorade between friends.

mental migit

Mr.A: i been marry for 36 years
Mrs.A: An you gonna stay that way sucka.

Mr.B: how deer you?
Mr.C: kinda antelope with a touch of elk.

critizing: The sound critters make when ya done flang dem 'croos the yard.

entertaing, den once you entertaing youse sitdown das evertiaing yew needts know.

living leg and:
Wait. Didn't it used to be hand to mouth!

Sorry fer twistin the rules a bit, SJ.

Have a great day.

Little Lamb said...

Writing a book zounds complicated. One has a lot of figuring out to do, yet famous authors do it all the time. Go figure.

G-Man said...

Little Lamb is so sweet..

Just like your 'doo' Red!!

Alawys..How an idiot spells Eloise!

I been marry for 36 years...Then I went John Hopkins..Now I be Marvin for the last 2 years.

Have a good one....G

Serena Joy said...

NEVER apologize for twisting anything around here, NYD. At this joint, twisting is de rigueur. And much appreciated. If it makes me laugh, it rules. And you did today.:-)

Lambie, I wish I could figure out the famous authors' secrets. I'm saving up for a decoder ring, but I'm not there yet.:)

Serena Joy said...

Marvin, that be you? LOL, Galen. You don't mind the wires coming out of my head? Maybe a do-rag would look better. I had a good one; hope you did, too.:)

Hale McKay said...

I didn't see the picture the first thing this morning with a cup of coffee in my hand and a mouthful of the hot liquid - - Whew!

You are either:

1)displaying courage,
2)searching for a new avatar
3)still half asleep
- - or - -
4)posting your new Drivers License picture by mistake

Serena Joy said...

LMAO, Mike. I have no excuse, other than to say the heat made me do it.:-)